Book Review: HR from the Outside In

51eclK1rdTL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources is a crucial blueprint of what it takes to succeed in the HR world. It is written by David Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brockbank, and Mike Ulrich who are some of the top professors and business leaders in the country. The authors believe that there are six competencies needed in order to thrive in today's business world. These include:

  • Strategic Positioner – This is much more than just “knowing” the business. HR Professionals must be able to position their organization to anticipate and match external implications and bolster their organization’s competitive advantage.
  • Credible Activist – HR Professionals must be internal activists, but they must focus their time and attention on issues that actually matter to the organization. They must be true professionals and be able to influence others and generate results in everything they do.
  • Capability Builder – HR Professionals must be able to align strategy, culture, practices and behavior; must create a meaningful work environment; and must must find and capitalize on all the organization’s capabilities.
  • Change Champion – Most corporate change efforts start with enthusiasm and end with cynicism. HR Professionals must help the organization counter that trend by helping it diagnose issues and learn from past failures.
  • HR Innovator and Integrator – HR Professionals must ensure the organization has the right talent and leadership for the current and future success of the organization.It must develop innovative HR practices that drive the talent agenda of the organization.
  • Technology Proponent – All organizations seem to have difficulty in handling and transferring the massive amounts of information they accumulate. This is especially true in HR, and HR Professionals must find ways to effectively use technology to understand and strengthen the talent within the organization.

Authors recommend four principles in optimizing human capital through workforce planning and analytics: define critical strategic roles; conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) assessment; buy, build, or both; and manage the change process. They have found six investments that can help upgrade talent:

  1. Buy: Recruiting, sourcing, securing new talent into the organization
  2. Build: Helping people grow through training or life experiences
  3. Borrow: Bringing knowledge into the organization through external advisors or partners
  4. Boost: Promoting the right people into key jobs
  5. Bounce: Removing poor performers from their jobs-and from the organization if there are no jobs in which they will perform well
  6. Bind: Retaining top talent through opportunity, reward, and nonfinancial recognition.

“This definitive work on HR competencies provides ideas and tools that help HR professionals develop their career and make their organization effective.” —Edward E. Lawler III, Professor, University of Southern California

Book can be purchased here